Some February Book Recommendations

How many of you can believe that it’s already February 2013? Have you been keeping up with your new year’s resolutions? One of the resolutions Tiffany and I made was to write at least one blog entry a month. So far, it’s not going that great for me. =P

I have, however, been reading alot of books! You’d think I was trying to make up for not reaching last year’s challenge, but truthfully, there’s just so many great books out there right now! Though it may not seem like that many to some of you, it has at least got me wanting to share and review the ones I have read, and finally feeling like I’m back to my old-self again. So, since I’ve been in a mood, almost giving up hope on finding another good YA book, like “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter”, I’ve spent some time appreciating some other genres, albeit very similar.

Urban Fantasy! Epic Fantasy! and Science Fiction!

I yearn for a strong story that doesn’t revolve around two or three love struck teenagers, always too willing to die for each other. Many of these books I’m recommending are written by a male author, because lately, aside from “Harry Potter” and “Hunger Games”, I couldn’t really think of a significant female author who has written a great fantasy novel. If you know of any, please let me know- Meanwhile, here is what I’ve read so far that you should consider reading:

 

Game of Thrones series by  George R.R. Martin 

This series gained world-wide fame after HBO picked it up and turned it into a hit show. But  rest assured, it wouldn’t have been picked up if it had not already been hugely popular among readers, which it has been, for many years.

George R. R. Martin is absolutely a master of story telling. There is no arguing that. These books hold endless story lines, dozens of main character and such and intricate plot there’s no way to summarize it shortly. Just simply said, the show doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

It is a long read, and skipping from character to character might give you a migraine, but that also makes it easy to pause after each chapter and take a moment if you need to (but most fans find it hard to put these books down).

*The fifth book “A Dance with Dragons” was published July 2011.

 

  Iron Druid Chronicles by  Kevin Hearne 

 If you are looking for a nifty, sarcastic yet humorous narrator, Atticus and Oberon are here for you! They are no ordinary main characters.

Atticus is a last remaining druid who is at least two thousand years old. His companion, Oberon has a sense of humor that would make you smile and laugh at the same time, and better yet, he is a dog. Inevitably, he triggers a chain reaction that drives him to come out in the open and fight for the ones he shouldn’t be attached to in the first place.

As funny as these books were, what I really found most compelling about them was the author’s research on urban/other-world/mythology. It is quite intense and gave me the change of story-telling scenery that I needed, after all of these vampires and werewolves in high schools.

*The fifth book “Trapped” was published November 2012.

warded man

 

Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett

This is a fantastic series that I found randomly on Goodreads. I have recently finished the first book and I cannot begin to explain how much I loved it! The three main characters struggle to live different and better lives from a very young age. The world is set in a place where demons rise from the ground after sunset, which turns out to be the least of their problems.

I love the descriptive third person narrative in this story. It offers so much insight and depth to the main characters, despite not knowing what each of their personal thoughts are. It is also written in a way that both males and females could appreciate. I would recommend this series to anybody who needs a good read!

*Third book “The Daylight War” was published February 2013. 

 

Other than these three series, I have only read a handful of books written by a male author. But I have a feeling that I will be looking for more books with male POV this year. I admit, they do not write epic love stories (which I never enjoy anyway), but I have found that their plots seem more complete and their world-building has me wanting to live in their worlds.

Giveaway – Book Lovers Holiday Hop

Yes! It is another giveaway!

Tiffany and I are both very busy with finals and Holidays so we haven’t been posting any entries lately.

That doesn’t mean that we’ve forgotten you all-

And just to prove it, we’re offering these 3 amazing books to 3 of our amazing fans!!

The winners will be announced soon, along with the winners of the last giveaway.

Thank you so much for your patience and good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway- Thankful for Books and For You!

Due to Hurricane Sandy and power outages, we were unable to post our Halloween giveaway. So sorry! But now the city is up and working again (and I no longer have to take showers in the dark), we’ve added the books we intended to giveaway then, plus two others that haven’t even hit the book stores yet! And it’s all because we are so very THANKFUL for you… our followers =) *U.S Subscribers Only.

 Check out other websites for more awesome giveaways HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The rules are simple, as always.

1. Be a subscriber to our blog (Mandatory).

2. Leave a comment on any of our blog posts (please read the post first though).

3. Like us on “Facebook”

4. Like us on “Twitter” followers. 

*Please enter through Rafflecopter above. You only have to choose one of the above to enter– but unless you already subscribe to the blog, that is the mandatory way to enter. Feel free to enter all four ways for extra chances to win! (*There will be four winners, so only one  book each).

That’s it! We will choose the four winners shortly after the giveaway hop is over, that is November 13th. You will be notified by email, so make sure we have a working one for you! The four books we are giving away are the images above. Good luck!

“Beka Cooper” series review by Tamora Pierce

I am ashamed that it has taken me this long to write an entry on our blog.
What can I say, I am lazy but I can’t write when I am not not in the mood.
And I have been having one of those moods for the past 6 months. Sorry.
Luckily I have Tiffany who took care of things and tried to write some things. Phew.. thank god!

Plus, for those who are friends with me on Goodreads, I have been struggling to read books lately. I mean, I’ve only read 14 books so far this year. 14! Lame…

But of those 14 books, these three, that I am about to introduce here, were my favorite. So give me the benefit of the doubt that I can still write and hope you all will consider this series as your next.

 

Since her first series in 1983, “Alanna; The First Adventure”, Tamora Pierce has written many books. Personally, I have read and loved the “Wild Magic” series which is about a girl who has the gift of talking to animals. With vast increase of YA books being published each  month, it is very hard to find a story that sticks with me. After reading about a dozen love triangles and paranormal creatures, the stories start to get mingled together in my memory and just become a huge pile of “books I will have to read again when the sequel comes out next year”. I am sitting here putting away the sequels in another pile and thinking “I may never know what happens to the hero/heroine because I don’t want to read the first book again!”. It’s stressful but also very satisfying to look at all the beautiful covers. haha

Enough with this bantering and let me tell you a little bit about Rebeka Cooper, the coolest, most daring down to earth character I have ever met. I was a little frustrated at first because I was worried that I was going to read another “Graceling”, which was a great book beside the fact that it got so long and tedious at the end, but it was not.

The main character Rebeka Cooper (Beka) has a gift of talking to the pigeon that carries the spirit of the deceased. And with that gift, she solves the toughest mysteries in all “Tortall”. The whole reason why I loved this series so much is the fact that it didn’t dwindle on the gooey romance. Yes, there was a short love story here and there but it “never, ever” took charge of the flow of the story. She was never in a situation where she had to be the damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. Beka Cooper was resourceful, calm, intelligent and always acted within the reasonable doubt.

But, it was also slow at times when pursuing fugitives or investigating a crime. The details of additional characters were almost too much but I learned to love them all so much in the end. And of course, the talking constellation cat “Pounce” was always a witty plus. =D

I can’t say that this book has gotten me back on track with reading but it certainly has me want to read more of Tamore Pierce’s books. I’d love to hear about your favorite Tamora Pierce’s books! So please leave comments, Tiffany and I always appreciate them.

 Oh! and most importantly,

we are having our Giveaway a week before Halloween! Spread the words and come see us again soon!

We have great books that will blow your brains out! lol

 

 

 

 

♥Middle Grade Books Giveaway♥

 Here is a chance for you to win some great middle grade books!

Not only do they look great on the outside,

but they are also filled with goodies on the inside!

***YOU MUST FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW***

-Just simply entering with this widget WILL not qualify you for the giveaway-

[Read more…]

An ‘eye’ for a cover – Cover Counts(1)

They say that the eyes reflect one’s soul, needless to say just how important this small body part can signify. There are many legends concerning ‘an eye’.(singular) According to a Greek superstition, the Evil Eye curse is known to be the oldest and the most widely believed myth. The Egyptian sun god Ra had made the ‘eye of Ra’ (right eye) in the form of the goddess ‘Hathor’ to punish mankind who mocked him as he grew old, the same symbol is also known as the ‘eye of Horus’ (left eye) which ensures the safety and prosperity of the bearer. In Hebrew, it can be translated as ‘knowledge’ which in depth means the eye of the mind and soul, in other words the ‘third eye’. As you can see, instead of having both eyes with a whole face, showing only one that is magnified can show a lot more emotion. In my opinion, it’s quite risky asking readers to estimate the tone of the whole book just by ‘an eye’ but there are some great examples of how it can be used affectingly.

 

 

Emotion; Sadness

 

Often mistaken by either ‘longing’ or ‘depression’, I believe it is one of the hardest emotion to portray on a still photo without an obvious facial expression or a body gesture. These covers, however, seem to be doing a good job of telling us that the story might not end so happily ever after. (I guess we’ll have to read and see)

 

 

 

 

 

Emotion; Mystical

 

According to some studies, most people relate the color purple/violet with ‘imagination’ and ‘spiritual awareness’. Add dramatic make-up and BAM! You have yourself ‘an eye’ that doesn’t seem to belong in this world! It has a dreamy quality that you can’t take your eyes off of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotion; Scary

 

For some reason, it was very easy to find book covers that affected me in this way. Personally, I couldn’t look too much into it while editing these because they truly gave me the creeps! I guess I’m not that much of a ‘horror’ fan and honestly I didn’t want these books on my bookshelf at all. I’m afraid that it might contaminate the mood of my other books that are close by. (believe it or not!) But it sure does makes you wonder what kind of a horrific story it might contain.

 

 

Emotion; Powerful

 

Power’ can be shown in many ways but if you are going to show it with ‘an eye’, it should be able to hold you immobile for a couple of seconds. Not because they are beautiful but because you are scared that it might shoot you with a light shooting out of their eye. They also look sturdy, as if they won’t shed a tear even if you poke it with a needle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which book caught your attention enough that you might actually want to read it? Do you feel a different emotion when looking at these books? No matter which emotion they might show, it is certain that they are some of sort an ‘EYE’ candy. =D

*all link to books are listed below*

John Carter – should you watch it?

 

 It’s been several days since “John Carter” is in theaters and the verdict is out!

Currently ranked as a solid #2 after “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax”, “John Carter” has yet to bring big on it’s first couple of days return compared to it’s opponent. It is yet too soon to tell, but “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” has marked the top grossing movie of the year by making $122 million domestically in 10 days.

Personally, I was looking forward to “John Carter”  for the obvious reasons. One; a hero worthy of Jake Sully from “Avatar”, two; different planet(Mars) equals extreme imagination with diverse creatures, three; expected it to be the best 3D movie of the year.

What can I say, you can immediately tell that a lot of money was spent making this film and just for that it might be worth watching the movie in 3D, which I did. But not highly recommended, of course. I try not to spoil anything for those out there who has not yet watched the movie so I will make this short.

I did not expect ‘smirk-worthy’ humor and heart warming qualities from this movie but it did and thankfully it was the kind that made me like the movie even more for it. Many a times I was thinking that John Carter was too pale compared to Martians but Americans in that time probably didn’t get a spray-tan regularly. The movie does not lack action and battle scenes with wicked creatures and scary weapons. But somehow seemed uncoordinated with more than two hours to show for it. (Actually made me want to read the book myself, this can’t have all been in ONE book!)

All in all, it was a fairly decent movie. Although it did not live up to my expectations, I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves an epic fantasy. Plus, it is always good to see the pages from the book come to life. ♥

 

 

 

Young Adult/Paranormal Books Giveaway!

Welcome back to our second giveaway!

We have these three amazing books to give to you, so without further a due, here is what you need to do.

*Rules*

1. Must be an e-mail subscriber to our blog (left sidebar, subscribe via e-mail corner)

2. fill out the form below

3. US residents ONLY

4. Must be over the age 13

This Giveaway is now CLOSED

We will announce 3 winners on March 1st.

Please keep in mind that the shipping might take 4 to 6 weeks to deliver. (if not sooner)

And if you have the time, please check out these other blogs that are also having a giveaway!

Top Ten Tuesdays (2)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten- Almost (but not-so-much)- Romantic Book Moments

Well Happy Valentine’s Day!!!! Okay… okay… we all have a hate-love relationship with the over marketed not-so-much-‘holiday’ Day- but whether you love it or hate it, it’s here! And so is Top Ten Tuesday. So, in effort to save you from just another mushy-gushy reminder that today is today, we decided to look at the “not-so-romantic-moment” moments in the books we’ve recently read =)

Tiff’s Four

 (And her One Romantic Moment)

In No Certain Order

1). The ‘It’s Okay bc I’m Cold’ Logic:

in “Eclipse” (“Twilight Saga”)

2). The ‘I Dream of Kissing a Bird’ Scene:

from “Burned” (“House of Night”)

3). The ‘Love Confessions: Scottish Style’:

 in “Awakened” (“House of Night”)

4). TheIncest is Incest’ Overlook:

from Mortal Instruments (“City of Ashes”);

♥♥5). The ‘Dandelion Choice’:

In “Mockingjay” (“Mortal Instruments”)

Kat’s Four

(And her One Romantic Moment)

In No Certain Order

 1).The ‘Beg until she Caves’ style:

From “Stray” (“Shifter”)

2). The ‘Too Blind to See the Truth’ type:

In “Game of Thrones” (“Song of Ice and Fire”)

3).The ‘Thou Shall Not Imprint on Your ex-lover’s Daughter’ Logic:

In “Breaking Dawn” (“Twilight Saga”)

4).The ‘Don’t Believe in Monogamy’ style:

In “Infinite Days” (“Vampire Queen”)

♥♥5).The “Ultimate Choice Between Love and Death”:

from “If I Stay” (“If I Stay”)

 

 The Breakdown

Tiff’s List

1). “Eclipse” (“Twilight” Saga); The Tent Scene: It was meant to be this super romantic moment; Edward, despite his jealousy and protective feelings against Jacob (who has made very clear his intentions and feelings towards Bella), asks for his help because Edward fears for Bella’s life. Ehhh. Not so much. There’s just nothing believable about the neediness and desperation on behalf of any of the characters here. I get it- we’re not dealing with humans. But it wouldn’t hurt if you’d appeal a bit more to my human nature. Being a bit cold (after all Bella, you’re wanting to marry him, an eternal glacier!?!) just doesn’t justify it enough..

 

 2). “Burned” (“House of Night” Series); I Dream of a Bird Kisses: Well, we all saw it coming… the tension building between Stevie Rae (she is the best friend of Zoey, the House of Nights lead character) and Rephaim; a Raven Mocker (a half-raven, half- human being). As much as I love Stevie Rae’s ‘ohmygoodness’ attitude and want to empathize with her falling in love- there’s just nothing sexy about wanting to make-out with a human body with a crow face. He’s got a beak for crying out loud! Gross.

 

 

 

3). “Awakened” (“House of Night” Series); Scottish Style Love Confessions: On the same note of this grossly romantic series… I couldn’t wait for Zoey to get a grip and finally fall in love with Stark. However, when it finally happened, at the beginning of this book, I found myself nauseated and bored. Three chapters of them gazing into each other’s eyes and confessing their undying love = failed romantic moment (and -yawn- boring).

 

4). “City of Ashes” (“Mortal Instruments” Series); The Siblings Kiss: Yeah, yea, ya .. I know we all knew (or for God’s sakes HOPED we knew) that Jace and Clary weren’t really going to turn out siblings. BUT STILL! I felt uncomfortable with this ‘forbidden love’ continuing to stir, under even an inkling of possibility, that they might ultimately be related. This is something we should never have to wonder; Will they be able to act upon their obvious love for each other or will they just end up being the aunt and uncle of each other’s kids?! Geeze. But still, I could have let that slide. HOWEVER, and seriously folks, there is a make-out scene in “City of Ashes” before they found out they weren’t really brother and sister. That’s just weird and totally not okay. Incest = Failed Romantic Moment!!!!

 

 

5). Hunger Games (“Mockingjay”); The Final Choice: I’m not the biggest fan of over-the-top love scenes, but for me, this moment takes the cake; As Katniss explains: “What I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that”. Up until this moment I was completely unbiased about whether Katniss would choose Peeta or Gale… but (in all the glory of Collins writing), I couldn’t imagine it any other way!

 

 

Kat’s List

1. “Stray” (“Shifters”);Beg until she caves: Having read this book very recently, I can tell you exactly why I did not like the relationship between these two. Faythe started off as a revel, independent woman who ran off from the safety of her own home to lead a life that was different from hers. But as it turned out, she was mostly running away from her responsibilities and a marriage proposal from her long term boyfriend Marc. Now, to any other person with a “right” mind, this would mean the end of the relationship, however as soon as Faythe was pulled back to her family for her own good, Marc started to ‘mark’ his territory and ownership over her again. It was pretty pathetic and clingy at the same time. After one drunken night of misery and some bad judgment, Faythe started to see things anew (as if the five years they have spent apart was no big deal). It turns out that her father, the Alpha of the pack, has arranged for his only daughter to fall in love with Marc, who he intended to pass along the leadership of the pack to. There was betrayal and manipulation written all over it, but of course Marc, being the hopeless romantic that he is, didn’t find this appalling and Faythe miraculously understood the life that her father has set ahead for her and complied. It is one of the unhealthiest relationships that I have ever read. It is completely based on lies (and not to mention that Faythe had a “human” boyfriend at the time). I think it felt sadder since the two of them were actually in love. Love comes in all shapes and sizes but I do not agree with this one.

 

2. ” Game of Thrones” (“Song of Ice and Fire”); Too Blind to see the Truth: Of all the couples that appear in this book, I found Sansa’s version of prince charming most troubling. As a little girl, even I dreamed that one day I would live a fairy tale come true… but not to the extent that it would blind me from everything else. This is why the relationship between Sansa and Joffery kills me! It’s also why I choose this moment as a romantic failure: Joffery frightens Sansa’s little sister, Arya (when she is playing with a friend) and subsequently Arya’s wolf attacked and injured him (which I know we all enjoyed a little bit). But even at this moment Sansa refuses to see that her prince charming is an unlovable bully (and quite frankly deserved what he got), but she has the nerve to blame Arya.

 

 3.  “Breaking Dawn”(“Twilight Saga”); Thou Shall Not Imprint on your Ex-Lover’s Daughter:  Okay- yes. We all got a bit weary of the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob by the end. We all also knew where her heart really was. This left us hoping beyond hope that there would still be a perfect ending for Jacob; one which also allowed for Bella and Edward to be peacefully together once and for all. HOWEVER, Jacob ‘imprinting’ on the daughter of the woman he was (only moments before) in love with is just a bit of a stretch. This is convenient writing at best. Yes, this provided a easy solution for Jacob, who we all sympathized with, but this is just a huge stretch (and a bit too high on the pedophile scale for my taste). She’s a baby for crying out loud! Imprint or not, it’s a pinch too close to creep = Fail.

 

4.  “Infinite Days” (“Vampire Queen”); Don’t Believe in Monogamy: How can any relation between a girl and three boys be good? Lenah is the vampire queen that has lived for more than 400 years. Rhode, her maker, has given his life to make Lenah human again. Their love is touching and, at the same time, devastatingly sad but he is soon out of the equation. Not a day after being made human, she finds someone of her ‘taste’, Justin. Of course, Justin can’t resist noticing the mysterious and irresistible Lenah. Along the process, Lenah succeeds in bringing down two other men in her life. Supposedly, she either tried to avoid it or “didn’t see it coming”. Next to “Twilight”, it was one of the most ridiculous vampire-human relationships I have ever read. It was based on loneliness and desperation which is a tell-tale sign of a bad breakup in real life but on the other hand, I guess it is satisfying to read about a couple who gets through this mess with love, no matter how unrealistic it might be.

 

5. “If I Stay” (“If I stay”); Ultimate Choice between Love and Death:  A horrible car crash causes Mia to lose all of her family. Just when she thought she had nothing else to live for, she journeys through her entire life in a flash. On the edge of death she remembers that, not only would her family want her to continue her life, but there are others who care for her and love her just as much they once did. When she finds the courage to finally open her eyes again, she see’s them there right by her side waiting for her to be whole again.

 


Top Ten Tuesdays (1)